Seeing Is (Not) Believing

Piyali Sadhukhan. Untitled, 2018. Courtesy of Akar Prakar

Akar Prakar presents Piyali Sadhukhan’s mixed-media works, sliding between drawing and sculpture. At one level, they belong to the family of quotidian domestic props: wall hangings, throws, and rugs. But they could equally belong to the dark forest of the subconscious where a sacrifice is raging, where the prey hunts or haunts the predator, where the umbilical cord is both vestige and noose.

What looks like a Persian carpet or a Kashmiri namda, from a distance, erupts into open sores on closer scrutiny. The eye focuses on a pattern made of broken glass bangles; on wounds that refuse to be stemmed; on a carpet hanging like a flailing self from the wall. Something uncanny transpires in the physiognomy of this object. It screams, breaking the symmetry of the floral pattern into a sound wave, amplifying the escalating violence against Indian women in general and the Kashmiri people in particular, who have been colonized by the Indian state.

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